Your route from Ashgabat to Almaty takes you through spectacular scenery and historic surroundings. Shortly after your arrival, we spirit you off to the infamous Karakum Desert. You will also visit the Tokuchka Bazaar, one of the largest and most colorful markets in all of Central Asia. Here, curious onlookers are able to watch the lively goings-on as buyers and sellers from all over Turkmenistan trade in animals, foodstuffs, and traditional jewellery.
Similar program can be done on the reverse Almaty to Ashgabat, please call for further details.
|Price (From)||:||US$ 3740|
|Includes international air|
Day 01: Arrive Ashgabat (TURKMENISTAN)
You arrive in Ashgabat and are transferred to a centrally located 4-star hotel. Check in time starts from 1500 hrs.
Overnight: Ashgabat Hotel, Ashgabat (1 night)
Day 02: Ashgabat
Amid the early morning bustle, you dive into the vast, dizzying delights of a typical Central Asian market. Scents mingle: rugs, piled spices, sheepskin, sizzling street food. Soon you leave the day’s deals behind and head to the ruins of the ancient city of Nisa, followed by a visit to the Ashgabat National Museum of History. After lunch, you continue to explore Ashgabat, its new marble buildings a gleaming display of the city’s oil wealth. In the evening, you board your private train and find your luggage ready and waiting in your personal compartment. You unpack and relax, then head for the dining car.
Overnight: on board the train (2 nights) (B, L, D)
Day 03: Asghabat/Merv
At daybreak, your private train draws into the ancient oasis of Merv. In the twelfth century, this was one of the largest cities in the world. Nourished by the Silk Road, its fame crossed continents. On your city tour, you are surrounded by magnificent ruins that rise up from the desert sand, crumbling arches framing a bright blue sky. You walk among the relics of this UNESCOWorld Heritage Site, which include the gigantic Tomb of Ahmed Sanjar, the Maiden’s Fortress and the so-called ice houses of Merv. Later, a local family invites you to lunch in the courtyard of their home. Next stop: Bukhara. (B, L, D)
Day 04: Merv/Bukhara (UZBEKISTAN)
Beneath the imposing yellow brickwork of the Kalyan minaret, you gaze at the magnificent city gates on either side of the courtyard, each a powerful mix of intricate tile work and grand design. This is only a first glimpse of the Bukhara Historical Center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is a city-museum filled with a thousand monuments, each a testament to the glory days of caravan trade. At the Lyab-i Hauz complex, you discover the 500-year-old architectural ingenuity that makes it possible to have a pond in the middle of the Kyzylkum desert. You learn about the Sufi Nasreddin, watch local dances, and listen to stirring Uzbek music.
Overnight: Asia Bukhara Hotel, Bukhara (2 nights) (B, L, D)
Day 05: Bukhara
Today, you spend another beautiful day exploring the infinitely rich Bukhara. After taking in the sumptuous tile designs of the Mir-i Arab Madrasa, you move on to the gorgeous geometry of the Samanid Mausoleum, one of the most highly regarded buildings in Central Asia. Later you discover the 1,500-year-old Ark of Bukhara, a fortress built around the fifth century. Standing on its immense rampart, you take a gaze over Bukhara, glistening turquoise and gold in the afternoon light. (B, L, D)
Day 06: Bukhara/Khiva
Today, you enjoy your final morning exploring the winding, romantic streets of Bukhara. After you say goodbye to this spectacular city, you board your private train for Khiva. Stunning landscapes pass by your window—wide steppes, blue sky, and distant mountains—the same natural beauty that inspired the ancients who came before you.
Overnight: on board the train (2 nights) (B, L, D)
Day 07: Khiva/Samarkand
After a delicious breakfast, you set out with your tour guide to explore Khiva, an ancient city filled with historic monuments. Beneath the vivid blue-glazed bands of the Kalta Minor minaret, you stroll through the city’s winding streets on a dreamlike tour of palaces, mosques, mausoleums and madrasas. You marvel at its mix of ancient and modern sights, vibrant and thriving—a living museum. Later, you have lunch in the king’s former Summer Palace. (B, L, D)
Day 08: Samarkand
In Samarkand—one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities—wealth, conquest and religion are intertwined. As you become acquainted with the splendors of this ancient city, you learn that it was considered the most beautiful in the world in the time of Timur. Today, it’s impossible to suppress your sense of wonder as you stand among the ornate marble buildings of Registan Square. The exquisite glazed tiles of the Shah-i-Zinda necropolis give you the same feeling. During a visit to the Afrasiyab excavation site, your tour guide discusses the origins of this astonishing city.
Overnight: Registan Plaza Hotel, Samarkand (2 nights) (B, L, D)
Day 09: Samarkand
Today is another day to soak up the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Samarkand. You delve into its Islamic past and sift through the riches you find there. You watch in amazement as Uzbek craftsmen skillfully weave silk into carpets and press paper from mulberry bark. Later, you gaze into the the magnificent past with visits to the Ulugh Beg Observatory, the ruins of the Bibi-Khanym Mosque, and the impressive Gur-e Amir mausoleum. (B, L, D)
Day 10: Samarkand/Shakhrisyabz/Tashkent
Under wide blue skies, you explore Shahrisabz, home to yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Timur—the fourteenth-century Mongol conqueror—filled the city with immense monuments to his success. Today, his palaces surround you in the bustling market of the city, crumbling reminders of a once great empire. Later, you watch a traditional folk performance and meet some locals in a small village. Before nightfall, your private train departs for Tashkent. On board, you join your fellow travelers for an Uzbek wine tasting in the dining car.
Overnight: on board the train (3 nights) (B, L, D)
Day 11: Tashkent/Turkistan (KAZAKHSTAN)
Your private train rolls into Tashkent, a city studded with monuments that hark back to the Silk Road. You experience the lush, green oasis of the steppe and tour its caravanserais, fortresses and madrasah—history in earthen brick and turquoise tile. As evening arrives, you depart and travel the Silk Road trail to Kazakhstan. (B, L, D)
Day 12: Turkistan/Almaty
As you eat breakfast, the glorious steppe unfolds outside the window to the steady beat of the railroad moving along the tracks. Soon you arrive in Turkistan, and stand before the magnificent Mausoleum of Khawaja Ahmed Yasawi, the vast, brightly tiled testament to power and beauty that UNESCO have made a World Heritage site and the Kazakhs revere as their national icon. It’s your last night on the train and your last dinner in the dining car. You bid a fond farewell to the staff as you roll on towards Almaty. (B, L, D)
Day 13: Almaty
Standing beneath the brilliantly colored patterns on the Ascension Cathedral, you gaze up at one of the largest wooden buildings in the world. It’s been a day of discovery, strolling through Kazakhstan’s capital of avenues and cafes, framed by the foothills of the Tian Shan mountain range. You see the circus, the wedding palace and the central mosque, and, in the evening eat a farewell dinner in a yurt restaurant.
Overnight: Rahat Palace Hotel, Almaty (1 night) (B, L, D)
Day 14: Depart Almaty
Airport transfer for individual departure. Check out time is by 1100 hrs. (B)
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
Departure Dates & Prices
We accept payments in US$, CA$ as well as in other convertible currencies like EUR, AUD and GBP. Tour prices have been costed in US$. CA$ price shown below is an indicative amount reached at by using the conversion rate at the time of web posting and will be applicable if there is no change in the conversion rate. Should the currency conversion rate change, the US$ pricing will prevail. Bestway Tours & Safaris offers a conversion rate protection. Once full payment has been received and no modification has been made to the tour itinerary, we will honour that rate. For complete payment procedures, please click here
This tour operates on a maximum group size of 26 participants while touring, while the maximum capacity of the whole train is between 60 and 120 passengers.
Please note that this tour is NOT part of our small group journeys.
If you would like to have a tour on dates other than the above ones or with a customised itinerary, please contact us and we will be happy to work out an exclusive program for you.
You may e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-604-264-7378. Residents of U.S.A./Canada may call us toll free at 1-800-663-0844.
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